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Plato, Buddha, Christ—what brings these men to the far future to witness the end of the world? Reads L to R (Western Style). Ten billion days--that is how long it will take the philosopher Plato to determine the true systems of the world. One hundred billion nights--that is how far into the future he and Christ and Siddhartha will travel to witness the end of the world and Plato, Buddha, Christ—what brings these men to the far future to witness the end of the world? Reads L to R (Western Style). Ten billion days--that is how long it will take the philosopher Plato to determine the true systems of the world. One hundred billion nights--that is how far into the future he and Christ and Siddhartha will travel to witness the end of the world and also its fiery birth. Named the greatest Japanese science fiction novel of all time, Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights is an epic eons in the making. Originally published in 1967, the novel was revised by the author in later years and republished in 1973. “‘Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights,’ that's a lot of time, but Ryu Mitsuse covers all of it in under 300 pages, and the result is quite fabulous.” –Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered


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Plato, Buddha, Christ—what brings these men to the far future to witness the end of the world? Reads L to R (Western Style). Ten billion days--that is how long it will take the philosopher Plato to determine the true systems of the world. One hundred billion nights--that is how far into the future he and Christ and Siddhartha will travel to witness the end of the world and Plato, Buddha, Christ—what brings these men to the far future to witness the end of the world? Reads L to R (Western Style). Ten billion days--that is how long it will take the philosopher Plato to determine the true systems of the world. One hundred billion nights--that is how far into the future he and Christ and Siddhartha will travel to witness the end of the world and also its fiery birth. Named the greatest Japanese science fiction novel of all time, Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights is an epic eons in the making. Originally published in 1967, the novel was revised by the author in later years and republished in 1973. “‘Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights,’ that's a lot of time, but Ryu Mitsuse covers all of it in under 300 pages, and the result is quite fabulous.” –Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered

30 review for Ten Billion Days and One Hundred Billion Nights

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    People kept asking what I was reading and I would say it's this Japanese philosophical science fantasy novel from the 60s featuring Jesus, Siddartha and Plato travelling to the end of time to discover the truth about Alien bioengineering of Earth and the lost city of Atlantis. Living, as I do, in the hippy capital of Western Australia there was a lot of interest shown in that synopsis, what with every other person seemingly happy to admit to believing in alien conspiracy theories, the power of p People kept asking what I was reading and I would say it's this Japanese philosophical science fantasy novel from the 60s featuring Jesus, Siddartha and Plato travelling to the end of time to discover the truth about Alien bioengineering of Earth and the lost city of Atlantis. Living, as I do, in the hippy capital of Western Australia there was a lot of interest shown in that synopsis, what with every other person seemingly happy to admit to believing in alien conspiracy theories, the power of people's aura colour and the guiding influence of tarot. I was then grateful to discover that they all became cyborgs and fought with each other on a desolated Earth 5,670,000 years in to the future.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Will E

    This book is so batshit insane I don't know what to think. I think I enjoyed it. This book is so batshit insane I don't know what to think. I think I enjoyed it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    If our universe is defined by the limits of time since the Big Bang, then what lies beyond that boundary? To try to answer that question Mitsuse has mixed hard science fiction, heavy on cosmology, and the three of humanities great philosophical traditions. And by mixing, I mean pitting against one another in a battle for supremacy and to save humanity from destruction at the hands of some not so benevolent beings. Ten Billion Days and Hundred Billion Nights also covers a tremendous amount of grou If our universe is defined by the limits of time since the Big Bang, then what lies beyond that boundary? To try to answer that question Mitsuse has mixed hard science fiction, heavy on cosmology, and the three of humanities great philosophical traditions. And by mixing, I mean pitting against one another in a battle for supremacy and to save humanity from destruction at the hands of some not so benevolent beings. Ten Billion Days and Hundred Billion Nights also covers a tremendous amount of ground starting at the very beginning of the universe to its final death from entropy. Without going into too much detail, the novel tells a story of an alien influence on the growth and development of humanity, and how it has manifested itself in different religions and philosophies throughout history. These are the parts of the novel in which Mitsuse is at his best. The writing for each time period resembles the religious and philosophical texts of the time, and the science fiction elements of the plot and battle scenes are worked into the story line seamlessly. But the most compelling part of the story for me though was the insights into Buddhism and that outlook compares with the Christian worldview. At times I didn't fully understand what was going on, and at times the constant descriptions of the characters every thought process got to be a bit tedious; but I'm still amazed at how Mitsuse was able to work so much into one science fiction story and still write something compelling. Ten Billion Days and Hundred Billion Nights was an ambitious undertaking, and I believe the Mitsuse pretty much pulled it off. It assumes quite a lot of prior knowledge about both physics and metaphysics, and it moves so quickly it can sometimes be confusing, but in my opinion it was well worth the effort to read. I very much enjoyed my first foray into Japanese science fiction.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    221111:weird. but then what did i expect? rigorously scientific naturalism, to the 11th power, of religious/cosmological events, characters, worlds. do not know when it was conceived, why it is considered best of j sf, but this might be a case of cultural ignorance combined with lack of hard science knowledge. no real characters, only something like avatars of earth religions or thought. plato, siddhartha, asura… jesus? mind-blowing scales, numbers, dimensions, and wooden characters and action f 221111:weird. but then what did i expect? rigorously scientific naturalism, to the 11th power, of religious/cosmological events, characters, worlds. do not know when it was conceived, why it is considered best of j sf, but this might be a case of cultural ignorance combined with lack of hard science knowledge. no real characters, only something like avatars of earth religions or thought. plato, siddhartha, asura… jesus? mind-blowing scales, numbers, dimensions, and wooden characters and action figure plot, like a combination of a c clarke and pulp like a e van vogt. it is said to be buddhist cosmology combined with scientific cosmology. maybe it is but i would not know. not surprisingly, i saw this mostly like j animated sf/fantasy movies, with bad dubbing...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nooilforpacifists

    To say this book starts promising is to understate the case. The centerpiece of the book -- a cyborg Buddha battling Jesus with masers and other energy weapons -- is genus. But, beginning with the end of that fight (a literal deus ex mechina), about halfway through, the book become an unintelligible exploration of the death of the world, the Galaxy, other galaxies, the universe, with the breathlessness of Japanese manga. I kept expecting there to be a reason one of the three characters was femal To say this book starts promising is to understate the case. The centerpiece of the book -- a cyborg Buddha battling Jesus with masers and other energy weapons -- is genus. But, beginning with the end of that fight (a literal deus ex mechina), about halfway through, the book become an unintelligible exploration of the death of the world, the Galaxy, other galaxies, the universe, with the breathlessness of Japanese manga. I kept expecting there to be a reason one of the three characters was female, but nothing turned on it at all. You know, somehow, that it has something to do with the creator and the Big Bang, but even after reading the afterward, for the life of me, I've no clue how.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Wrong Train, Right Time

    10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights is a piece of late 1960s Japanese sci-fi that the Internet tells me is kind of a big deal. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. I first encountered in on Strange Horizons, where it was the topic of one of their book review roundtables. The elevator pitch of "Christ Versus Mecha-Buddha. In Space!" is what immediately drew my attention, but I was also drawn by the description of it as blending science-fiction and religious/mythical/historical fictio 10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights is a piece of late 1960s Japanese sci-fi that the Internet tells me is kind of a big deal. I wouldn't be surprised if that were the case. I first encountered in on Strange Horizons, where it was the topic of one of their book review roundtables. The elevator pitch of "Christ Versus Mecha-Buddha. In Space!" is what immediately drew my attention, but I was also drawn by the description of it as blending science-fiction and religious/mythical/historical fiction. I soon learned that the elevator pitch was both completely accurate and completely false. Make no mistake: 10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights is a bleak, bleak book. And yet its bleakness and terror strike at me in a way I feel moved to visit and revisit, much as I regularly rewatch Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. I generally try to avoid reread reviews on this blog, but I have a lot of things to talk about, so I shall. 10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights has an core cast of larger-than-life figures: Prince Siddartha (yes, that Prince Siddartha), Jesus Christ, Plato. They are rendered in this novel as deeply human, united in their yearning to understand the world around them -- not just its material essence, but its true meaning and nature. In a world that seems full of cruelty and devoid of reason, their desire is understandable. The tragedy is that the gods they turn to for answers are remote and angry; not just indifferent, but full of malice. Plato may seem like an odd addition to this case of religious figures, but I think Plato is meant to represent a secular yearning for knowledge. His Allegory of the Cave isn't mentioned explicitly, but it's a core part of his philosophy and strongly associated with him. I can't believe that that wasn't lurking in the background of how and why Mitsuse chose him as part of his cast. And then there's Asura. She is, by far, the most tragic of the characters, the ruthless driving heart. Her desperation and need to know and fight the forces that had destroyed her world. Her position as the adversary, locked in endless battle. In some ways her characterization matches recent pop culture depictions of Lucifer as not that bad after all, the reframing of the divine enemy as a hero by reframing the divine as villainous. The choice to render Asura a teenage girl is a strange one now; I can't imagine how strange it would have been in the 1960s. She is the keen one, the intelligent one, the terrifying and ferocious warrior. She's also the oldest and most seasoned, the one with the greatest sense of what has been lost and what there is left to lose. I don't think Mitsuse's intent was the simple visual irony, but I think this juxtaposition of visual and narrative makes Asura a timeless figure within the narrative. Jesus and Siddartha and Plato were all grounded in the material and mortal world. Not so with Asura. She is timeless and ageless; where Siddartha, Jesus, and Orionae are worn out, she is full of vigor and drive. Asura has a vitality -- no wonder she outlives the others. But oh, is she a tragedy. The ending is truly sad. It's ambivalence, the emptiness, the knowledge that the foe she'd sought has already won. The sheer prospect of her quest's continuation and knowing she'll have to continue it alone. What does she have left to fight for? How can she do anything other than fight? Let me touch on the SF-nal bits now. Nominally, this book falls under the heading of science-fiction, and Mitsuse makes use of genre tropes to mine the terror of deep time, the vast misery of grinding destruction that spans millennia. The sublime horror of thousands of years of hibernation. The existence of cyborgs and advanced tech seem like a cruel joke: no matter how fancy our toys, we cannot escape our essential nature. And for humans, that essential nature is a yearning for understanding that is easily manipulated, what seems to be a endless march toward self-annihilation. The fact that the main cast becomes cyborgs in their quest is a sign of the cost of their struggle. These enhancements, made mostly for destruction, were imposed by a greater power out of their control; in becoming more than human, they become closer to their adversaries' equals, and in so doing leave the humans and mortals they fight for further behind. This is not a happy book. It is also, I think, a particularly timely one. Asura, Siddartha, and Orionae struggle against a world that is guided by a seemingly unstoppable force of mind-numbing malice. Their ally is as high-handed as their enemy, while also being far less effective. And yet, the three of them fight on. They push themselves to the brink, fight, scream, and risk everything in their need to assert their right to exist in freedom and safety. I don't think you have to look far in the US to see how this might feel analogous to the current political situation, where every right and protection is under government assault. Asura closes out the novel alone, yearning for happier times, knowing that there is nothing left for her but to keep moving in a universe that seems hopelessly empty and cruel. She's already rejected collaborating with the enemy. What other option does she have? What indeed. Contrasting all this is Mitsuse's lush and beautiful descriptions of the natural and material world, of sensations seen and felt. Every description is beautiful. Every sky, ever disintegrating remnant of a long-dead civilization. The immediacy and groundedness of his prose contrasts the incomprehensible and abstract notions of time, space, and technology that form the more sf-nal elements, a reminder that -- even though all these characters constantly look outward for truth and understanding -- there is much in the real world that deserves our attention and respect as well. 10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights is a bleak book with a terrible despair at its heart. But it's also a beautiful book, many small stories woven together in lovely vignettes that ground its grand, philosophical struggles. It is a question that lingers, in hope of an answer. * Seeing as this book is difficult to grapple with, I'm linking the roundtable that inspired me to pick it up in the first place. There is entirely too much hand-wringing over what genre it fits in, but the various takes and insights are interesting and helpful as a starting place for grappling with the novel. It's pretty milquetoast on the topic of religion, which, that seems strange considering three of four main characters are explicitly religious figures. I can't speak to Mitsuse's beliefs, but it seems pretty clear to me that the novel is, at the very least, deeply skeptical about religion. The Atlanteans' fictional religion is explicitly described as a means created by the powerful for manipulating and controlling the populace. Why should Christianity and/or Buddhism be any different? Religion in this book is an ideological tool. It preys upon an earnest yearning to make sense of a capricious, opaque world in order to manipulate and control. Religion (and secular philosophy, as embodied by Plato/Orionae) can offer answers -- but, Mitsuse seems to ask, where are those answers coming from? What do the providers of these answers have to gain? Can they be trusted? The answer, in 10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights, is terribly, sorrowfully, "no."

  7. 5 out of 5

    Praveen

    This book begins with The Big Bang, a theory on early development of the Universe, it follows with the few episodes in history where Ryu Mitsuse blends Philosophy, religion and eventually our author moves to rock-hard science fiction to answer the beginning of The Big Bang. In Philosophy Ryu Mitsuse narrates the episode of Plato’s quest towards a legendary island of Atlantis, where like all of us Plato is is also confused on each and everything which we see around us like: Who planted groves of tre This book begins with The Big Bang, a theory on early development of the Universe, it follows with the few episodes in history where Ryu Mitsuse blends Philosophy, religion and eventually our author moves to rock-hard science fiction to answer the beginning of The Big Bang. In Philosophy Ryu Mitsuse narrates the episode of Plato’s quest towards a legendary island of Atlantis, where like all of us Plato is is also confused on each and everything which we see around us like: Who planted groves of trees and taught the people how to gather their fruit and cultivate their seeds? Who built roads and towns, waterways and aqueducts? Who showed the people the art of metallurgy, the smelting of iron? In Religion Siddhārtha’s journey towards Brahmā and Jesus of Nazarath episode with Pontius Pilatus followed with Crucifixion of Jesus. In all this the common element is the anticipation for a new world a new beginning: Plato wanted his Ideal State , Siddhartha waited for the Age of Enlightenment , Jesus of Nazareth awaited for final judgment and kingdom of God. By all this Ryu Mitsuse proves search for the beginning of The Big Bang is vain or simply dilemma… causality dilemma is commonly stated as "which came first, the chicken or the egg?" and moves towards rock-hard science fiction where we see Cyborgs, which we never expects Cyborgs of Jesus, Plato and Siddhartha. Gun fight with Plato, Siddartha, and Jesus. This all things were awesome but the inclusion of Asura a King of kings or Absolute being I couldn’t comprehend…might be beyond my comprehension. I searched for the meaning for the usage of Asura as King of kings or Absolute being, I found in Sanskrit “ásu” denotes "life force" it might be the reason. In some reviews I saw readers stating this books tells about an alien influence on the growth and development of humanity but I felt Ryu Mitsuse illustrated the concept of an unconditional reality which we call with alternate term for "God" the Absolute power who controls the whole universe.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Philipp

    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I really don't know what to make of this. 2.5? Several episodes through the life of our planet are told - Plato looks for Atlantis, Jesus is crucified, Siddharta leaves his palace and meets Asura, but then it becomes apparent that there's a Planetary Development Committee behind all of this and these episodes become connected, mankind is destroyed, a few million years later Jesus, Siddharta, Asura, have for some reason become cyborgs who can launch nuclear rockets from their hands and ba ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I really don't know what to make of this. 2.5? Several episodes through the life of our planet are told - Plato looks for Atlantis, Jesus is crucified, Siddharta leaves his palace and meets Asura, but then it becomes apparent that there's a Planetary Development Committee behind all of this and these episodes become connected, mankind is destroyed, a few million years later Jesus, Siddharta, Asura, have for some reason become cyborgs who can launch nuclear rockets from their hands and battle it out. Siddharta, Orionae and Asura try to stop the shadowy organization that destroyed mankind, while Jesus works for the bad guys. Asura becomes a galaxy or something. The disjointed structure makes it a surprisingly dry read, for a book where space-mecha fights are a thing; you get ridiculous tech-babble like "Orionae wrapped the coil in several gravitationally sealed spaces. You have to maintain the link to the Dirac sea in an imaginary numeric circuit"; there's a special melancholy towards the end (Mono no aware) that saves some of it, but I really wonder whether it's worth it to slog so far, felt much longer than 284 pages. Bonus points for that interesting Mamoru Oshii essay at the end - who knew the creator of the Ghost In The Shell movies used to be part of the extreme left, trying to subvert society?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Doubledf99.99

    Written in the 60's, this is a classic read. A second reading and it's still a classic. Written in the 60's, this is a classic read. A second reading and it's still a classic.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Joshua

    This is a difficult one to rate. I feel like some of it was a little over my head. I'm not sure if that was a problem with translation or my thick skull. Probably the latter, since I found the prose to be quite good. The translator actually deserves a great amount of praise for doing such a nice job. The book is very metaphysical. It covers a lot of big questions like "what are the boundaries of time and space?", "what lies beyond the boundaries of our universe?", "why does everything decay?" Bu This is a difficult one to rate. I feel like some of it was a little over my head. I'm not sure if that was a problem with translation or my thick skull. Probably the latter, since I found the prose to be quite good. The translator actually deserves a great amount of praise for doing such a nice job. The book is very metaphysical. It covers a lot of big questions like "what are the boundaries of time and space?", "what lies beyond the boundaries of our universe?", "why does everything decay?" But the book doesn't give you an omnipotent view of what's happening. I felt as confused about the events as the characters in it. Even the end left me feeling a little confused about what I just read. Ultimately, I believe the book is about the struggle between life and entropy. However, don't let my confusion or description of its themes make you think this is some slow-moving and boring philosophy book disguised as a sci-fi novel. There is plenty of action in this book, and it's of a very wild nature. There is a rather long chase in which Jesus of Nazareth is using a maser (that's right a maser, not a laser) to hunt Siddhartha (aka Buddha) who retaliates with mini-nuclear missiles (he has been "reincarnated" as a cyborg). There's something you don't read every day! Overall, the book is a good, quick read, that will leave you thinking about big questions.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rod Van Meter

    Fantastic. The first twenty pages or so are lyrical, stunning, with a spare, lonely view of the history of our world. Then Atlantis, Jesus, and Buddha show up and get it on, but I won't spoil it for you. This book, like all the best ones, leaves you with more questions than answers. I read the book in translation, not the original Japanese. The translator happens to be a friend of mine, and here he has done a wonderful job. In his afterword, the author cites Clarke, Simak, and van Vogt at influenc Fantastic. The first twenty pages or so are lyrical, stunning, with a spare, lonely view of the history of our world. Then Atlantis, Jesus, and Buddha show up and get it on, but I won't spoil it for you. This book, like all the best ones, leaves you with more questions than answers. I read the book in translation, not the original Japanese. The translator happens to be a friend of mine, and here he has done a wonderful job. In his afterword, the author cites Clarke, Simak, and van Vogt at influences, but I feel echoes of Wells' Time Machine, Asimov's Last Question, and even Anderson's Tau Zero, but perhaps most of all Zelany's Lord of Light, though it has been many years since I read any of those. It is most certainly its own unique story, though, not derivative of anything. The blurb calls it Japan's greatest SF novel, and it is great, but personally I would put it behind Toh's Self-Reference Engine. I have read very little Japanese SF. though, so I really don't have a lot of context.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Cassie

    Reminiscent of great works like "Last and First Men" by Olaf Stapledon, "Ten Billion Days" is a work of late 60s epic (truly epic-scaled) science fiction tackling huge ideas with enthusiasm and abandon. This book marks the first time I've read a book with Plato, Siddhartha and Jesus as the major characters. Probably not for the a reader who struggles with the "just go with it" requirements built into sci-fi. What makes the book particularly powerful to me is this idea that there is more to the u Reminiscent of great works like "Last and First Men" by Olaf Stapledon, "Ten Billion Days" is a work of late 60s epic (truly epic-scaled) science fiction tackling huge ideas with enthusiasm and abandon. This book marks the first time I've read a book with Plato, Siddhartha and Jesus as the major characters. Probably not for the a reader who struggles with the "just go with it" requirements built into sci-fi. What makes the book particularly powerful to me is this idea that there is more to the universe than we can possibly contemplate, but there is still more beyond it.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    A fun read full of very vivid sci fi imagery and Evangelion-level existential weirdness. The only real complaint I can make is that some of the action was difficult to visualize, and had a kinetic quality that text alone may not be the ideal medium for. However, it was a perfect medium for bringing the reader along for the ride of certain surprising discoveries about various characters throughout the unfolding of the story. Very enjoyable overall.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    I really liked this book despite it being so strange that I didn't understand all parts of it. It essentially question where the universe has come from, mentioning the big bang, and where it might possibly go. I've never encountered characters or indeed world building quite like this though would be quite happy to encounter again in the future. I will have to investigate what else Ryu Mitsuse has written after this and see what the feel of his other writing might be. I really liked this book despite it being so strange that I didn't understand all parts of it. It essentially question where the universe has come from, mentioning the big bang, and where it might possibly go. I've never encountered characters or indeed world building quite like this though would be quite happy to encounter again in the future. I will have to investigate what else Ryu Mitsuse has written after this and see what the feel of his other writing might be.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Audrey

    6/10 This book was, for lack of a better word, wack. I think I liked it. Maybe. Historical philosophical futuristic Japanese sci-fi. This book was all of those things. Sometimes it dragged on, but it was interesting and surprising and creative and made me think. I wish my sci-fi book club would have agreed to read it the numerous times I presented it. I think it could have made for some great conversation.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Butch

    very poetic imagery and beautiful language.

  17. 4 out of 5

    J. Michael

    If I had to compare 10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights to any other book that I have read it would be Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness. Both are nominally science fiction in which the "science" hardly counts as such. Both revolve around a retelling of myths in a modern casting, Zelazny with the Egyptian pantheon and Mitsuse with both Christ and the Buddha as well as using Plato in a mythological way. Both are told in a non-linear, at times almost hallucinatory, fashion. And I If I had to compare 10 Billion Days and 100 Billion Nights to any other book that I have read it would be Roger Zelazny's Creatures of Light and Darkness. Both are nominally science fiction in which the "science" hardly counts as such. Both revolve around a retelling of myths in a modern casting, Zelazny with the Egyptian pantheon and Mitsuse with both Christ and the Buddha as well as using Plato in a mythological way. Both are told in a non-linear, at times almost hallucinatory, fashion. And I found both of them to be more annoying than compelling. Perhaps this just means that I should try to find some other works by Ryu Mitsuse, since there is plenty of Zelazny I like; in fact, I am a big fan of his Lord of Light, which is his own recasting of the Buddha. I suppose that, on some level, it's pretty awesome to have a story in which a cyborg Jesus of Nazareth is hunting down a cyborg Siddhartha and shooting at him with lasers but that just can't carry the novel. Beyond that there just isn't very much here. Mitsuse throws lots of scientific terms into the story but it's complete gobbledegook without meaning. Planets are hidden behind "the light-speed barrier", for instance. So, when reading, you have to turn all of your science knowledge off and just treat the book as fantasy. It seems that it isn't so much that Mitsuse is wrong as that he doesn't intend to be literal at all as a part of his mythological structure. How you will react to that depends upon your willingness to take scientific sounding statements as metaphor. That, I think, gets to my ultimate problem with the story. I am fine with metaphor in a limited way but not when that's all that an author has to sell. In the end I just end up feeling that there is no substance to the novel. There are no characters as such, just the mythological recreations of them. Several of the characters, Plato, Christ and Pontius Pilate, have some depth when their myths are being retold but that all washes out in the second half of the book which takes place in the distant future. They exist only to have things happen to them and to explicitly state the nature of the universe. It is the sort of book that a lot of people will describe as subtle but that I find to be anything but. I mostly found it to be a waste of time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Imran Nasrullah

    So far, despite all the hype about being Japan's greatest sci fi book, I have found the book a complete disappointment. It has turned some of humanity's greatest human beings into rather pedestrian depictions. It took a fantastic premise, bringing religious/spiritual founders to the end of the Universe, and rather write contemplatively about it, it turned it the story into a near western-like shoot out at the OK corral. After forcing myself to the final 75 pages, I just could not put up with it So far, despite all the hype about being Japan's greatest sci fi book, I have found the book a complete disappointment. It has turned some of humanity's greatest human beings into rather pedestrian depictions. It took a fantastic premise, bringing religious/spiritual founders to the end of the Universe, and rather write contemplatively about it, it turned it the story into a near western-like shoot out at the OK corral. After forcing myself to the final 75 pages, I just could not put up with it anymore. This book sucks. There I said it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I really wanted to like this more. The ideas in this book get four stars just for weirdness and the whole Siddartha and Asura fighting Jesus at the end of the world idea. Plus, the philosophies are really deep and intriguing. But the writing... I think it was probably a translating issue - very choppy, almost unnatural phrasings and scientifically clinical writing. Nothing was pretty about it. It didn't flow very well. It had that kind of feel - that someone was literally translating the words wi I really wanted to like this more. The ideas in this book get four stars just for weirdness and the whole Siddartha and Asura fighting Jesus at the end of the world idea. Plus, the philosophies are really deep and intriguing. But the writing... I think it was probably a translating issue - very choppy, almost unnatural phrasings and scientifically clinical writing. Nothing was pretty about it. It didn't flow very well. It had that kind of feel - that someone was literally translating the words without a focus on how they came across in English. The writing itself gets two stars. Wish it had been written better, because I'd love to share the ideas in this book with other people...

  20. 5 out of 5

    Richard Stuart

    Dazzling in it's meticulous interweaving of time and space, creation and destruction, mission and observation, this book relentlessly rips open the pinhole perspective of the readers mind to reveal layer upon layer of outer realities which may or may not actually exist. The effect is disorienting and leaves one not quite sure of the solidity of 'self' or 'soul'. I think this book will haunt the dark caverns of my subconscious like some kind of warped mantra warning me to keep waking up... Dazzling in it's meticulous interweaving of time and space, creation and destruction, mission and observation, this book relentlessly rips open the pinhole perspective of the readers mind to reveal layer upon layer of outer realities which may or may not actually exist. The effect is disorienting and leaves one not quite sure of the solidity of 'self' or 'soul'. I think this book will haunt the dark caverns of my subconscious like some kind of warped mantra warning me to keep waking up...

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marianne Cohen

    Boring. Too much "flashing lights" and "glowing lights". Some what interesting characters, Plato, Siddhartha, Jesus, Asura. Would not recommend. Boring. Too much "flashing lights" and "glowing lights". Some what interesting characters, Plato, Siddhartha, Jesus, Asura. Would not recommend.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Harish Jonnalagadda

    An incredible read. Loved the way traditional myth was reimagined, and immensely liked the entwining timelines. Existentialism doesn't get better than this. An incredible read. Loved the way traditional myth was reimagined, and immensely liked the entwining timelines. Existentialism doesn't get better than this.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Eric Stodolnik

    Jesus almighty! This has to be one of the most balls-out, unapologetically weird novels to have ever graced my eyeballs!... And that's saying quite a lot, what with my being a huge Philip K. Dick fan. This novel has me in the throws of very mixed feelings, hence my giving it a 4-star rating and not a 5-star. I think a 4.5-star rating is closer to how I feel, but since I can't give half-stars here on GoodReads, I'm deciding on a 4-star. Part of me wants to love this book for how insane and unconv Jesus almighty! This has to be one of the most balls-out, unapologetically weird novels to have ever graced my eyeballs!... And that's saying quite a lot, what with my being a huge Philip K. Dick fan. This novel has me in the throws of very mixed feelings, hence my giving it a 4-star rating and not a 5-star. I think a 4.5-star rating is closer to how I feel, but since I can't give half-stars here on GoodReads, I'm deciding on a 4-star. Part of me wants to love this book for how insane and unconventional it is. But it has some issues that make me have to bump it down a star. A major issue, probably the main issue I have with it, is how it ends with a fizzle, and not with a bang, leaving me with a sort of unresolved feeling. Also, the extremeness of the "softness" of this soft Sci-Fi is another issue. For example, how it depicts the collision of galaxies to be this sort of epic event of obliteration, where we know now today that because of the vast, vast distances between stars, when our galaxy eventually do collide and combine with the Andromeda galaxy, stars will very very rarely, if at all, collide with each other... instead, our galaxies will just coalesce with each other in a crazy dance of hundreds of billions of stars, in an event that will occur over the span of millions of years, many stars being flung out into the void of intergalactic space. But the way its described in this book, it will be a violent event that will end in the total obliteration of both galaxies, resulting in nothing but a puff of nebulae and space dust, and eventually dispersing into radiation and nothingness. We know this is not what will happen, instead they will combine into a single, much, much more massive galaxy. But this can be forgiven in that it was written in the 60s before we had the supercomputers to do the simulations of colliding galaxies that give us an idea of our future. But still, this is just one of the more glaring example of the science in this science fiction that is spurious and dubious, to say the least. Anyway, despite its flaws and the issues I have with it, its sheer scope and strangeness are enough to make me really enjoy this novel quite a bit, and I would definitely highly recommended to the certain type of person who id imagine would appreciate it for what it is. But that also means there are a LOT of people who just wouldn't get it and I know wouldn't appreciate it. But I think the line dividing those two types of people is stark, so I know just who to recommend it to. In the end, a great book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ron

    What a mysterious SciFi novel. Jesus Christ, Siddhartha and Asura battle it out til the end of time. Beautifully written. On a night of exceptional darkness, a faint shooting star cuts across the void, trailing a long tail of light, then falls behind the nacreous line of the horizon, its glow becoming an unfading scar—a memory in the space between the stars. >> The vast flow of time leaves traces of its passage across everything without exception. It moves within everything that is, mischievously What a mysterious SciFi novel. Jesus Christ, Siddhartha and Asura battle it out til the end of time. Beautifully written. On a night of exceptional darkness, a faint shooting star cuts across the void, trailing a long tail of light, then falls behind the nacreous line of the horizon, its glow becoming an unfading scar—a memory in the space between the stars. >> The vast flow of time leaves traces of its passage across everything without exception. It moves within everything that is, mischievously touching, changing—sometimes destroying. Not even the sea is spared, for over one hundred billion days and nights, the starlight that falls upon its surface, the wind and rain that blow across it, the brilliance of the burning sun that warms it, and the snow that whirls in eddies around its frozen waves, all are absorbed and reduced into individual molecules, tiny motes that show no hint of their vast history. In the bottomless sediments only a vague memory remains. >> The sea: it contains within itself the long, long story of time, a perpetual record of shapes that will never be seen again. Of wind and cloud and wave, of bright days and dark nights. The sea has always been time’s closest confidant. Surging and receding . . . Surging and receding . . . >> The orange star at its center consumed an entire 564 million tons of hydrogen every second, creating 560 million tons of helium. The remaining four million tons of matter were converted into a stupendous amount of energy that spread throughout the surrounding space. >> “Ideas have an objective existence. They are not the material of thought, but the object of thought, outside the thinker. The world we experience is a phenomenal world, a reflection of the world of ideas. The vicissitudes of life merely suggest that all things are in a state of flux because of the inherently unstable manner in which this world receives the Truth of ideas. Thus it falls to us to endeavor to see through that fluctuation to perceive that which is universal—that which exists objectively,” >> “The ideal state holds as its governing ideology a philosophy based upon the fundamental concepts of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty. In other words—” Plato took a swig of some pungent goat’s milk to wash down a lump of meat from his stew. “As reason is illuminated by the lens of wisdom, so does it develop from something experiential into something universal. Only with universal reason may we perceive the fundamental Truth shared by all things.” He cleared his throat. “Truth, mind you, is not some thing existing in a solid, unchanging state; it is universal objectivity itself. Now, while ‘will’ is the sum of the choices we make by virtue of our courage, the fundamental concept of Goodness is none other than the universal will. As for Beauty, that beauty which we perceive is limited, a mere projection of the phenomenon of a greater, limitless Beauty. Within men this quality manifests in the form of the passions and the moderation of arbitrariness. It is only by achieving harmony between these three fundamentals that the entire soul may take on the virtue of righteousness. This is a basic qualification for one who would rule, as it is for those who would aid him and, indeed, for all citizens of the ideal state.” >> One thing I discovered is that in the tales and legends told by all of these peoples, there are always stories of destruction and salvation. I’ve wondered why this is. Why would there be so many tales about a horrific destruction and the salvation that followed when no one alive could possibly have witnessed either? The tales seemed too close to truth to be mere fancies, and too inevitable to deny.” >> “The will of Heaven does not serve man. All laws flow and change by the workings of mutual dependence, relationships, and karma. Man is the same. The changing of relationships determines the form of existence. Reality is not a fixed entity within the cycle of life and death, reality is change. Existence is impermanent, form is empty, emptiness is form.” >> And yet the place had a smell of tragedy, as though it had already lost something it would never be able to reclaim. It was alone, resigned to await its fate. >> While most Romans understood that the gods were to be feared, they were also inclined to treat them as a kind of game, often evoked for little more than entertainment. Romans knew little of hardship; they had managed to cope rather well with the challenges and sorrows of their world, and they saw very little need for a savior in the true sense of the word. The gods of the Romans cast light shadows on the empire. In truth, for most they were little more than seasoning to add a touch of gravitas to the citizens’ daily lives. >> The natural world had atrophied, its moisture gone, leaving the surface of Earth a cold and barren desert. Animal life had long since vanished, and even the withered remains of forests had disappeared without a trace. Only the wind moved now, occasionally trailing sand in gray clouds. The cycle of energy had been broken, and the planet lacked the strength to nurture anything new. >> “It seems to me,” he said after a moment, “that since the very beginning, humanity has been walking upon a path toward destruction. Everywhere is disease and disaster, death and conflict. These things have always been part of civilization, right by man’s side. I wonder if any human, anywhere, has truly been at peace from the bottom of their heart.” >> It is in mankind’s nature not to believe that misfortune and tragedy are approaching and to forget calamity after it has occurred. >> Yet they never once thought to seek that which gives birth to ruination in the first place.” >> “Time is the same, you know. The time that defines the reality inside those expanding limits of space is just a part of the time that exists in the infinity beyond. The flow of time began at the origin point of the universe you know, two hundred billion years ago, and its flow ceases two hundred billion light-years in the distance. Yet that is merely a fragment of the transcendent time stretching out into infinity.” >>

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tyler Redman

    Ten billion days and one hundred billion nights. Its a story of time space Gods and men. It tackles many philosophical references and concepts. It includes Plato as one of the main characters to explain some of these concepts of the book. It manages to tackle many perspectives of what the future of men may hold. You travel with figures like Jesus of Nazareth, Siddhartha, Brahma, Asura. Its a feast of information, and hard to follow. Sometimes, you have to read the pages twice and still don't kno Ten billion days and one hundred billion nights. Its a story of time space Gods and men. It tackles many philosophical references and concepts. It includes Plato as one of the main characters to explain some of these concepts of the book. It manages to tackle many perspectives of what the future of men may hold. You travel with figures like Jesus of Nazareth, Siddhartha, Brahma, Asura. Its a feast of information, and hard to follow. Sometimes, you have to read the pages twice and still don't know whats going on or what the characters intentions are. Its a digestion of so many motivations that are so deep seeded in the unconscious of these characters, its beautiful cant say enough good things about this book . I will read it again and again interpreting the story differently every time. The book is legendary inspiring and in all ways amazing and I still don't entirely understand it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    MR A J GILES

    How did the translators translate this book!? It is so rich with information and detail. Well done to both the author and the translators. I loved this book, seemed so random but all came together and massively poked and challenged my brain. Got me thinking outside the universe, God and so on which I really enjoyed. Thank you!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Really 3.5 stars I usually have no issues with deep thinking scifi. This seemed to skip sections that I wished would be expanded or "played out" more. Some sections seemed to stop and leave me wondering how it could continue to the next scene. But all in all, an entertaining story. Really 3.5 stars I usually have no issues with deep thinking scifi. This seemed to skip sections that I wished would be expanded or "played out" more. Some sections seemed to stop and leave me wondering how it could continue to the next scene. But all in all, an entertaining story.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Theo

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I really enjoyed parts of this fabulous book. It has many unique aspects ranging from cyborg Jesus of Nazareth to a healthy helping of mono no aware. There seemed to be some jarring disconnect towards the end but that was entirely planned out by the author. Worth a read

  29. 4 out of 5

    Patrick Ward

    Some really interesting philosophical elements. However, I found the long descriptions of technology and battles tedious.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shaun Mcnamara

    Took me a while... I thought it was good though.

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